1/11/2008

A Bite from Reality

Posted on behalf of Susan Kirkland

It’s my day to blog and when I received Deb’s sweet reminder on Sunday, I planned to blog about some of the research I did for “Fair Balance” and the fascinating things I learned about demonology and horror – two of my favorite subjects. I tried to schedule an interview with a demonologist, but, like a lot of my plans this week, it just didn’t materialized.

When I realized that my quiet week at the Calhoun Times was turning into 10-12 hour days, I began praying about what to write how to get it done. I prayed and I didn’t want to listen when God put the subject on my heart. It has nothing to do with writing, per se, other than my main stories this week were requested by several local newspapers.

It has had everything to do with evil and horror, however. About a year and half ago, I asked for prayers while I tried to locate people who would talk to me about a five-year-old little girl who was allegedly beaten to death by her father. Monday morning, I found out the trial would start Tuesday. I have listened to harrowing testimony, I have seen heartbreaking pictures of a five-year-old little girl and I have sat in the same room as evil personified.

I can’t, as a matter of journalistic integrity, say the father and step-mother are guilty. The trial is ongoing and my job isn’t to play jury. BUT, I can say that even if they are found not-guilty, they were given a child to protect and they failed – that much is grossly apparent, even by their own statements. Opening arguments, I literally thought I would throw up – without the aid of the pictures or the testimony of nurses, pathologists, and investigators. I have seen death in its unsanitized state before – bodies hit by trains, drowned, hung, savage automobile accidents, but nothing prepared me for this and I’ve been doing this for 16 years. This week, I have come home and stared at my beautiful five-year-old daughter but the only thing I can see is the body of that little girl. I’m sparing you the details because a part of me has been tainted this week and I don’t want to do that to anyone else. It was tainted by the power of real horror – not the fantasy stuff I pen, nor the freaky stuff Hollywood creates. But real, in the flesh, horror.

I’ve made “Fair Balance” the novel more horror centered than the short story that inspired it. There’s death, demons, some gruesome scenes, but nothing like what I’ve encountered this week. In FB, I’ve made the demons real, visible, but not in human form. This week, I have witnessed testimony showing everything from anger to apathy and I firmly believe that Philatanus, Sonneillon, Verin, and Apollyon* have found their human form and they have left me more than ready to return to fictional demons and fictional situations where I decide when the good guys win and bad guys are cast into pits for God’s judgment.

*for reference, http://the-atlantic-paranormal-society.com/articles/demonology/rank.html -- but it may be more than you really want to know about my week.

5 comments:

Deborah Cullins Smith said...

Thank you for sharing with us, Susan. Reality tends to hit us where it hurts -- especially when children are the victims. We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers... Yet when we see evil take the day -- even for only a moment -- it hurts our hearts. Hang in there, Susan. The consequences of such evil is that the perpetrator will not go unpunished -- before God's throne, if not in the courts of our land.

Donna Sundblad said...

Wow, Susan, I can't imagine sitting through that--it hurts so much. It's time like this that I again find God unfathomable--how can he bear all that we do!

kc said...

Wow. That sounds so interesting. I've always been afraid to research the occult and such for a novel for fear that I would be too affected by the evil and have nightmares, etc. I admire you for your work.
God bless,
Karri

Andrea Graham said...

Susan: sounds like you could use Michael Card's "A Sacred Sorrow" too right about now.

I relate to your sentiments about fiction. Of course, in my own fiction, I have a mean, ugly trick (to the readers and the victims) of NOT casting the bad guys into the pit, but rather saving their sorry souls and asking us "good" guys to share heaven with them ;)

That's the only "down" side to the cross. He nailed our enemies' sins up there as well. I can't think of anything harder in the world than having to look to the cross of Jesus for justice when one of the "big" sinners embraces it.

Sorry, I am, let us say, overly-endowed with mercy. I think you'll like Adam's tendency better than mine. Though truth be told, due to afore-mentioned tendency, I am sometimes troubled by the amount of Christian fiction that is "Good guys win, bad guys go to Hell." At least the kind that implies this is the desired end when that's not the end Christ desires.

Susan said...

Thanks for all the words of encouragement. The jury decided not guilty on all counts. I'm not suprised, despite what I believe, there was a tremendous amount of circumstantial evidence to consider (I'm thankful I wasn't on the jury). At least this little girl is someplace better with a real Father and real Brother taking care of her.